Originally created 12/20/97

Seeks end of `tyranny' by the court

The Constitution prohibits not only the establishment of a state religion (denomination) but also guarantees "the free exercise thereof."

Federal Judge Ira Dement has ordered no praying in schools by students or officials and has ordered what he calls "monitors" placed in the schools for enforcement. Others might call them "thugs."

That court order ignores the fact that, in the Mergens case, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the restrictions on evangelism and student-initiated school prayer are unconstitutional.

That judge has also placed restrictions on the distribution of Gideon Bibles within schools. That's a restriction that the Gideons never encountered in such places as a Nicaragua under Communist Sandinista rule.

Since that judge has threatened violators with jail, would it not be appropriate for Congress to make it a felony for a judge to issue such an unconstitutional order that restricts speech and prohibits the free exercise of religion?

It's time to end the tyranny of our unelected oligarchy.

Richard A. Arnold, Augusta


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